A Maryland-based HempWood flooring company is developing a pilot plant in west Kentucky.
Murray State University’s Hutson School of Agriculture Dean Tony Brannon made the annoucment Thursday during a hemp panel discussion at an ag conference in Carlisle County.
If the project proves successful, Brannon said the company would "build a series of $5M plants that will employ up to 25 people in each plant." He said, "a very sustainable product, hemp hardwood flooring is from the fiber side [of the plant] so we are excited about that side too." Brannon said there are a range of potential products to be produced from the hemp plant.
Murray State has taken a leadership position in the nation’s hemp industry revitalization. Brannon said the university was the first school in the country to plant hemp seeds under provisions provided by the 2014 Farm Bill.
The flooring company would use the fiber component of the plant, other potential markets include seed and oil extracts. Brannon said the crop has produced around 16.7 million dollars in gross product sales across the commonwealth.
Editorial note: This story has been corrected and updated. WKMS News previously reported that this company was a Chinese company, Fibonacci is an American company with previous ties to Chinese manufacturing. We applogize for the error.